Electronic monitoring - a flawed alternative

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A report published by the US-based, Centre for Media Justice, has highlighted concerns about the rush to deploy electronic monitoring (EM) equipment as an alternative to imprisonment.

The report, Electronic monitoring is not the answer, authored by James Kilgore, offers critical reflections on the use of electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system.  Kilgore offers a series of guiding principles to manage the use of electronic monitoring, for example that EM should only ever be used in place of incarceration and when it is implemented, should be done so with a non-punitive mindset. 

Earlier this month, the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies published Community sentences since 2000. How they work and why they have not cut prisoner numbers. Covering the three UK jurisidiction it explores;

  • The increasing role of the private sector
  • The growth of electronic monitoring
  • The growing punitiveness of community sentences
  • The confused and conflicting policy messages around ‘punishment’ and ‘rehabilitation’.

In this report we also present a set of suggested core principles for the better use of alternatives to custody, to inform and underpin the policy and approach of governments and criminal justice agencies.